November 23, 2009
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11/23/09 – Tea-party prankster Robert Erickson – who last week infiltrated a right-wing “Tea Party Against Amnesty” at the Minnesota State Capitol, attempted to turn himself in for self-deportation at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Bloomington. Along with seven other “illegal” European immigrants wearing orange jumpsuits and about 25 supporters, the pranksters chanted “Columbus go home!” and “Deport us now!” to stubborn ICE officials.
Members of the MN Immigrant Rights Action Coalition and local decolonization activists took part in the action, which highlighted the hypocrisy of ICE this Thanksgiving season in targeting undocumented immigrants of color through workplace and house raids, while turning a blind eye to the original illegal immigrants–Europeans.
“Now let me be clear! Im not against legal immigration,” said Erickson before attempting to turn himself in. “If these Illegal Europeans want to get in line and apply for citizenship with the tribal counsel like everybody else, theyre more than welcome to! But there will be no shortcuts, or special privileges for the perpetrators of genocide!”
Erickson: “Columbus is the original illegal immigrant… he came without papers and didnt ask for permission. Through policies of ethnic cleansing and extermination, the original pilgrims stole this land from the real Americans, killing more than 30 million Americans in the worst genocide in human history.”
“Just as the original pilgrims profited from the exploitation and murder of indigenous Americans, modern day pilgrims are reaping massive profits by displacing indigenous Central and South Americans from their rightful homelands through economic conquest.”
Erickson made clear the difference between illegal European colonizers and “Undocumented Americans who come here out of economic necessity to find work and try to feed their families.” He demanded that I.C.E. track down the “real criminals”.
The nine Europeans – all descendants of illegal immigrants – who attempted to turn themselves in were met by surprised officials of the Federal Protective Service, private security and Bloomington Police. Earlier, one activist entered the building to notify ICE officials that the self-deportees were waiting outside, but officials refused to do their duty and take action. When it became obvious that ICE would refuse to assist in the deportation, the activists chanted, “What if we were brown?” before promising to come back another day.
Said Erickson, “This is the start of a national back-to-Europe movement asking all illegal immigrants from Europe self-deport this Thanksgiving.” [Short version]
More @ http://tc.indymedia.org
MN Immigrant Rights Action Coalition: http://mirac1.wordpress.com
Solidarity w. Dakota decolonization resources: http://unsettlingminnesota.org
Robert Erickson twitter: http://twitter.com/roberterickson1